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Re: Another Newcomer

To: Eric Erickson <>, mgs@Autox.Team.Net
Subject: Re: Another Newcomer
From: Mike Hartwig <>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 14:51:31 -0500
>My first question is for some hints as to the "essential" reference
>books/manuals I should buy to start maintaining my new toy.  Secondly,
>reading about some of the engine/parts replacements and mods that you
>guys are undertaking, how religiously need I undertake maintaining the
>"originality" of the car - is it all or nothing (sorry if the need to
>know this offends anybody :-)?

Hi Eric, glad to see you on the list.  
I have three reference manuals in my collection:
Bentley's reprint of the 74-80 manual
Haynes manual for the 62-80 MGB and
Chilton's manual for the 62-80 MGB

Ranking them from best to worst:
Haynes, Bentley's, and Chilton's

Can anyone give another opinion?
For rebuilding engines and all around general use, I feel the Haynes is
very helpful and thorough.  The Chilton's gives some decent general tuning
tips, and is otherwise bland.  The Bentley's factory manual, while thick,
doesn't seem to have much to it.  It's been a while since I looked at it,
but it doesn't seem to be as good as the Haynes manual.

If you're into body work, suspension modifications, door skin repair,
engine rebuilding, then Lindsey Porter's guide to Do-It-Yourself is a good
My advice, buy as many as you can afford, but a good first book would be
the Haynes book.  I find if one book is lacking in one subject, at least
one of the other books is helpful. 

Originality is a somewhat interesting topic.  Some are diehard fanatics
that believe Lucas is a greek god, and then there are those with less
ambitious beliefs. In my opinion, it is up to the owner to decide
originality.  Remarkably, my daily driver MGBs are quite original.  I've
stuck with original style electrical components and have had good success.
Others have found success going with aftermarket fuel pumps, distributors,
etc., etc.

You be the judge, and my advice to you is to flog the person who yells at
you and your car for non-original parts.  No offense taken, Eric.  We, me
included, are all having fun here.  Yesterday, I spent the good part of the
afternoon diagnosing my ignition and fuel system.  That typically would
have peeved the normal human being greatly, but in reflection, I had fun.
On the other hand, if it weren't 75 degrees Fahrenheit outside and I wasn't
in my shop with all my tools, I would have been extrememly pissed.


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